I Believe in Music

Andrew - Earlysville, Virginia
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Whether it is the sound of your pinkie drumming on the desk or the musical explosion of a 100-piece orchestra, I believe in music. So what does that mean? Nearly every person I’ve ever met enjoys music, listens to it, has their own likes and dislikes, and even has songs on their iTunes that they haven’t even listened to yet, myself included. What’s different about my thoughts on music is that they go deeper than just the surface value of the tune.

I believe in music as a way of healing and expression. When I get to the times in my life when all I want to do is pound my fists into a wall, I listen to the overdriven guitars of Slayer or Pantera. When I’m feeling down, I listen to the slow chordal guitars of singer-songwriters such as Iron and Wine and Bright Eyes, and I feel more optimistic. And when I ride around town with my friends, you can hear the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg pumping through our subwoofers a mile away. For every emotion we as a people seem to have, there’s a guitar sitting somewhere, begging for someone to pick it up, and write a song about that feeling.

This leads me to my other belief that music is one of the only things that can truly unify human beings. From the banjo and mandolin bluegrass bands found in the Deep South to alt-rock Japanese bands, music can be found in every culture, everywhere on the planet. I’ve yet to read in the history books about a culture that never expressed themselves through some sort of music, whether it has been through the monophonic Gregorian chant or rough blues heard in old smoke-filled bars. When two completely different people come together, even if they are on opposite ends of the planet, if one can sing and one can play guitar, you have a band.

I even believe that where all language fails, music fills in the gaps. Having played music with a native of Colombia who learned English as a second language, I can say that even when I had no idea how to start a conversation with him, once the instruments came out, I didn’t have to say anything ? I just had to play. And even when we had our differences as friends, when we played together, we got along.

I believe that music can heal all the pain and intolerance in the world. Just as Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits – you feel no pain.” Just like Bob Marley, I play music because I want to make people happy. If I can make one frowning person smile by playing them a song, then I’ve made a difference. I believe in music, all types, anytime, and anywhere.